Organic Black Tea

All tea leaves are green when harvested. High in the Himalayas, tea pickers are hard at work, plucking only young and the most flavorful leaves from the plant, called Camellia sinensis. Although tea plants flourish in tropical climate, the best organic black teas are those grown in high altitudes where the clouds and cool mountain air comfort the tea plant and moisturize its leaves.

After the tea leaves are picked, they are inspected and sorted and withered. All of this is done by hand. As water from the leaves evaporates, the natural process of fermentation begins to take place. Fermentation, also known as oxidation, is the reason why organic black tea is black.

tea

Unlike the fermentation done with wines, tea fermentation does not produce alcohol. Instead, enzymes naturally contained in the leaves are released, oxidizing the leaf in the process and turning it brown just like a tea leaf in the fall when it changes color from green to brown.

By increasing heat and high humidity in a process called firing (the leaves are exposed to high temperature over fire or commercial ovens), the fermentation of organic black tea accelerates. As a result of these conditions, it is only a matter of hours before green tea is turned to what is known as organic black tea.

There are several different types of organic black tea. They are called ‘organic’ because they were purely grown organically, without the use of chemical fertilizers or commercial pesticides. The types of organic black tea depend on the name of the region where the Camellia sinensis plant is grown. Below are the top three organic black tea, valued for their rich taste and color.

Keemun

Considered by most to be the finest of Chinese black teas, Keemun organic black tea is actually a style of tea rather than the name of a region. Keemun is grown in many regions of China and Taiwan. Because of its smooth taste and aromatic flavor, Keemun organic black tea is often referred to as the “Burgundy” of teas. Chinese Keemuns are especially rich and flavorful. Higher grades of Keemun are also sweet, fruity, and pleasantly full-bodied with a delicate smoky nuance.

Keemun is great by itself. But if you want a slightly different taste, the tea also goes well with a bit of milk and sugar.

Darjeeling

Named for the Darjeeling province in northeast India, this fine drink is another organic black tea worth trying. Often referred to as the “Champagne of teas,” Darjeeling is praised for its aroma and delicate flavor. Incidentally, the Darjeeling region also produces excellent green and oolong teas – both known for their delicate tastes. The organic black teas are delicately flavorful but still full-bodied and succulent with a wide range of flavors from floral to nutty and sometimes with subtle muscatel notes.

Lapsang Souchong

Another organic black tea from China and Taiwan, Lapsang Souchong is also a style of tea with an intensely strong smoky flavor that many find, if not particularly delicious, then intriguing. The flavor is produced by drying the leaves over a smoldering pine fire. This organic black tea is made from larger leaves that contain lower amounts of caffeine, making it a popular evening drink.

Lapsang Souchong is not for everyone’s palate. If you want to experiment a little with your organic black tea, try some and decide for yourself.

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Black Tea Health

For thousands of years, the Chinese people have been drinking tea because of its refreshing and soothing effects. Like all three of the major Asian teas in the market, black tea comes from the plant called Camellia sinensis. But the difference between the tea types lies in how the leaves are processed, not on where they come from.

In the case of black tea, the leaves are first dried and then fermented. Black tea undergoes full oxidation, which actually accounts for its aromatic and rich taste. Compared to green tea and oolong or black dragon tea, black tea has a fuller taste and tastes better with age.

black tea

However, black tea is not only known for its intriguing flavor (comparable to wine!). New research suggests that it may be a major contributor of health-promoting nutrients in the U.S. diet.

Black tea health benefits lies in the presence of flavonoids in tea. Before, scientists believed that the process of fermentation changed the beneficial flavonoid polyphenol in black tea into another form, which is not thought to have any beneficial effects at all. However, newer studies showed that polyphenol or not, black tea health benefits can certainly do you a lot of good.

Below are the top five black tea health benefits enjoyed by those who love their cup of tea every morning:

Antioxidants

This is actually the one black tea health benefit you can get from drinking tea. Antioxidants are substances commonly found in vegetables, fruits, and beverages such as tea. Because of their disease-fighting abilities, antioxidants have been the subject of various scientific studies investigating their many benefits, from heart disease to cancer prevention.

Think of antioxidants as the rust-oleum paint that you put on your outdoor furniture to keep it from rusting. Just as oxygen in the air around us cause iron to rust, the oxygen particles in our blood can sometimes be destructive. In scientific circles, they call these highly reactive oxygen-containing substances as free radicals, and they are the reason why our body undergo massive cellular damage as we age or undergo degenerative diseases like cancer and heart illness.

The function of black tea health benefit antioxidants is to seek out these free radicals and destroy them. In so doing, these black tea health benefit antioxidants help protect your body from the ravages of aging and the effects of pollution.

Caffeine

Unless you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur, one black tea health benefit that you would surely appreciate is its caffeine content. Black tea does the job that your coffee does – that is, to give you a little push as you wake up in the morning after pulling up an all-nighter. But while coffee has the unfortunate reputation of causing heart palpitations because of too much drinking (and hence, too much caffeine), your chance of suffering the same with drinking black tea is nil. That’s because black tea has two to three times less caffeine than coffee. An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains around 135 mg. caffeine, while black tea contains only 30 to 40 mg. per cup.

 

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Benefits of Black Tea

Black tea is one of the most popular teas in the world. The English love it and use it as a constant ingredient in many of their breakfast teas. Black tea comes from the same plant that green tea, white, and oolong tea come from. But if you notice, black tea has a distinctively strong flavor and characteristically dark color. How is this so?

Well, you see, the main difference lies in how black tea is processed. While in making green tea, the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant are first dried and then gently steamed, black tea leaves undergo far more processing steps.

black tea

First, the leaves are withered. Then, they are rolled around to release the beneficial polyphenols present in the leaves. Next, the leaves are left out in the open and exposed to heat and humidity to start the fermentation process. After full oxidation or fermentation is done, the leaves are then dried and packed.

All these processing methods actually account for the uniqueness of black tea. The taste may range from brisk to astringent to delicately fruity, flowery, or even smoky. Often, these differences can be ascertained from the growing regions where the black tea is produced. But regardless of taste, flavor, and color, the benefits of black tea remain constant.

For thousands of years, the Chinese (who are attributed to be the first tea drinkers) have been imbibing this drink for its many health benefits. Green tea, especially, with its refreshing delicate taste, is said to help in overcoming certain diseases from the simplest – e.g. headaches, stomach pains, etc. – to the complex – e.g. heart disease, cancer, arthritis, etc.

Scientists believed that the reason green tea is more beneficial compared to other teas is that the leaves never undergo full oxidation. Because of this, the polyphenols, especially the polyphenol ECGG, remain intact and potent against disease-causing free radicals in the human body. However, more recent studies have shown that while it’s true that full oxidation does break down ECGG, the benefits of black tea are hardly hinged on the present of that chemical compound.

Researchers found that the benefits of black tea are directly associated with certain chemical compounds that give black tea its characteristic fruity flavor and dark color. These compounds, called theaflavins and theaburigins are polyphenols with antioxidant properties that can help rid the body of harmful free radicals.

In a study done at the American Heart Association in New Orleans, researchers also found that the benefits of black tea may include lowering the risk of heart attack and stroke. According to their findings, certain compounds found in black tea help relax and expand the arteries, thus increasing blood flow to the heart and minimizing clogging of the arteries. The eight-week study on the benefits of black tea involved 50 men and women with coronary artery disease. They drank four cups of either water or tea a day for four weeks. The result was that the group who drank black tea produced more nitric oxide – the chemical released by the body that causes the artery to dilate – which accounted for their arteries to dilate normally.

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Chinese Diet Teas: Are They Safe?

Chinese teas have long been considered great for dieters.  In fact, many companies have manufactured and distributed these products labeled “Chinese diet tea” for those who wish to lose weight.  Perhaps the main reason for this production is that many believed that tea by itself carries only 4 calories per serving, and the caffeine in tea is potent enough to increase body function to help burn more calories.

Also, it is believed that the polyphenols in tea seem to aid in the digestion of fat, truly making it a Chinese diet tea.

chinese diet tea

Chinese diet tea, fasting tea, slimming tea, super dieter’s tea, weight loss tea, although they come with somewhat different names, all promote a common message – drink this tea and you will lose weight.  However, many experts noted that what you are actually drinking from these products is a plant based laxative that can cause certain disorders like diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, fainting, chronic constipation and perhaps even death when consumed in excessive amounts.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) once stressed that the laxative teas and dietary supplements of most concern are those containing one or more of the substances, such as aloe, senna, rhubarb root, buckthorn, castor oil, and cascara.  These products are derived from plants and have been used since time immemorial for their ability to relieve constipation and promote bowel movements.   They are deemed effective for such purposes with occasional use.

When the labeled “Chinese diet teas” are excessively used based on the misconception that frequent bowel movements prevent the absorption of calories that problems tend to occur.  Numerous studies have shown that the laxative-induced diarrhea does not significantly reduce absorption of calories for the reason that laxatives don’t work in the small intestine, where the calories are absorbed.  It rather works on the colon, which is the lower end of the bowel.

Also found out is that when the Chinese diet teas are misused by steeping the tea longer than product labeling recommends can lead to short as well as long term adverse condition.  This is also true when the Chinese diet teas are taken more than the recommended amount.

It has been noted that for those first-time users who drank Chinese diet teas more than the recommended amount, stomach cramps, vomiting, nausea and diarrhea are the common disorders to occur and will last for several days.  When these laxatives are used continually, laxative dependency will tend to develop with bouts of chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain as well as constipation.

In the most severe cases, these laxatives can cause fainting, dehydration and serious electrolyte disorders.   As noted, these after-effects of excessive use of Chinese diet teas are most likely to develop in people who are nutritionally compromised due to rigorous weight-loss dieting.

Because of these concerns, the FDA is now considering requiring the manufacturers of labeled “Chinese diet teas” to place warning labels on all of their product stimulant laxatives.  It is also important that those who are using Chinese diet teas for any purpose must read and follow the recommended directions carefully.    The words indicated on the label under “warning” must then be given attention.

 

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The Wonder of Chinese Green Tea

 Have you tasted Chinese green tea?  As you all know, green tea is the most popular types of Chinese tea.  Many people, not only Chinese, consider it as the best drink for sultry summers.  The main reason for this claim is the fact that green tea is cool and fights off inflammation.   Many have even claimed that it relieves fever.

Actually, the health benefits of Chinese green tea have been known throughout the world.  The Chinese have known about these medicinal benefits since ancient times, as they have been using green tea to treat everything from headaches to depression.  A writer named Nadine Taylor in her book Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life mentioned that green tea has been used as a medicine in China for at least 4,000 years.

chinese green tea

These days, numerous scientific researches conducted both in Asia and the West is providing hard evidences for the health benefits long associated with drinking green tea.  To mention, the Journal of the National Cancer Institute published the results of an epidemiological study in 1994, indicating that drinking Chinese green tea lowers the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly 60 percent.  Also, it was reported by the researches of the University of Purdue just recently that a compound in green tea inhibits the growth of cancer cells.

There are other medical conditions to which drinking green tea is reputed to be beneficial.   To sum up, these conditions include cancer, cardiovascular disease, infection, rheumatoid arthritis, impaired immune function, and even high cholesterol levels.

What Makes Green Tea Special?

The top secret of Chinese green tea lies in the fact that it is rich in catechin polyphenols, particularly the said epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG).  EGCG is basically an anti-oxidant that has the power to fight and kill cancer cells without harming healthy tissue in the body.   Studies also revealed that this anti-oxidant has been effective in lowering LDL cholesterol levels, and hampering the abnormal formation of blood clots.  The latter benefit takes on added importance for the fact that the formation of abnormal blood clots, medically known as thrombosis, is the main factor that causes stroke and heart attacks.

Furthermore, the effects of Chinese green tea and the “French Paradox” were highly associated.   Researches were in the first place puzzled by the fact that despite consuming a diet rich in fat, the French have a less incidence of heart disease than Americans.  The primary answer was found to lie in red wine, which contains resveratrol.  Resveratrol is as polyphenol that restricts the negative effects of smoking as well as a fatty diet.  However, in 1997, a certain study reported that EGCG is twice as powerful as resveratrol.  And, this somehow explains the lower rate of heart disease among Chinese men even though approximately 70 percent are smokers.

Other Benefits

 New evidences that reveal the other benefits of Chinese green tea are now emerging.  One of those is the claim that Chinese green tea can help dieters.  Researches found that men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more fats than those given only a placebo and caffeine.

Chinese green tea is also said to prevent tooth decay.  Just as its bacteria-destroying abilities can help prevent food poisoning, it can also fight the bacteria that cause dental plague.

Today, several skin preparations containing green tea, from deodorants to creams, are also starting to appear on the market.  This is for the reason that Chinese green tea is found out to be powerful in fighting bacteria that cause skin imperfections.

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Fast Facts About Organic Green Tea

Green tea leaves are harvested and dried before they even ferment. This process ensures that organic green tea keeps many of its healthy properties compared to other teas which undergo a lot of processes. Organic green tea produces a fresher and more aromatic flavor that many people love and enjoy.

Aside from its taste and aroma, green teas are patronized more for their benefits to the overall condition of the body. They are now included in many diets and are made into diet supplements in the form of pills and extracts as well.

green tea

Basic Facts about Organic Green Tea

Men have been drinking organic green tea for over half a million years now. Its medicinal effects have been known by Chinese people long before researches and experiments have been done to prove its benefits. The history of green tea traces back from Asian culture, used as a beverage or an herbal medicine. As a matter of fact, history reports show that organic green tea was used as an astringent before to control bleeding and to help heal wounds.

What Makes Organic Tea Special

Catechin Polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant can be found richly in green tea. The compound is known to kill cancer cells, lowers bad cholesterol levels, and inhibits formation of blood clots. What sets organic green tea apart from other tea like oolong, and black tea is how it is processed. Organic green tea is steamed so its important compounds are not oxidized. Other teas are usually made from fermented leaves which make the beneficial health compounds not as effective as when it is only steamed.

Health Benefits of Green Tea

The popularity of green tea grew with the interest in fitness and healthy lifestyle. Tea contains a group of compounds called Polyphenols which acts as antioxidants to the body. Great benefits like preventing cancer have been proven to come from drinking organic green tea. Aside from that, here are a few more benefits of green tea to the health of a person:

• Prevents flu – Green tea can boost immunity against influenza
• Lowers Blood pressure – Blood pressure can be lowered by 50% by drinking at least two cups of green tea a day
• Cleanses the Digestive System – Tannins in tea cleanses the digestive tract and can calm a troubled stomach
• Aids in Weight Loss – Organic green tea is rich in antioxidants known as catechins which helps reduce the absorption of fats. Metabolism is also increased by drinking a cup to two of green tea everyday
• Dental Health – Cavity is prevented with the aid of fluoride from green tea. Aside from that, antioxidants kill bacteria and thus fresher breathe is obtained
• Bone Strength – Organic green tea is rich in Vitamin D which helps maintain bone density

Harmful Effects of Organic Green Tea

The hazards of green tea to the health are due to its caffeine. Insomnia can be experienced by those who consume more than five cups of green tea a day. However, compared to coffee, green tea contains lesser caffeine.

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Eating For A Healthy Heart

Bad cholesterol or a bad diet is something we all experience at some point in time. It’s impossible to eat healthy our whole lives, even though we may try hard to do it. Eating healthy for your heart is something everyone should try to do, especially when it comes to restoring health and reducing
heart attacks.

Your heart and food-We know these things for sure – a diet high in saturated fats will help raise your cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease. People that are obese are more prone to heart disease. A diet high in sodium may elevate your blood pressure, leading to inflammation and even heart disease.

healthy

To help prevent heart disease and improve your health, put the tips below to good use.

Eat plenty of fish
Herring, sardines, and salmon are all excellent sources of Omega 3 essential fatty acids. Other fish are great to, although Omega 3 may help to get your cholesterol down to a healthier level.

Choosing healthy fats and oils
Saturated fat will increase the risk of heart disease. It’s found in meat, butter, and even coconut oil. You should avoid them until your cholesterol levels are down and you are at a healthy weight. Even those that love red meats can enjoy seafood and nuts for their main sources of protein.

Monounsaturated fats such as olive oils will help you to protect your heart. Olive oil is an ideal choice for cooking, dressing, or even as a dipping sauce.

Plenty of fiber
Fiber can help you control your cholesterol. You can find fiber in whole grain products to help control sugar absorption as well, which will help you keep your digestive system healthy.

Choosing carbohydrates
Eating for your heart involves staying away from sugary foods such as candy, cookies, cakes, and
pastries. Eating a lot of sugar isn’t good for your heart disease at all. Healthy carbohydrates involve whole grain breads, whole grain pasta, brown rice, and a lot of vegetables. You should make fruits and vegetables the main aspect of your diet.

Healthy cooking methods
Stir frying and sauteing with olive oil or canola oil are both great methods, as you shouldn’t dip your food in batter and fry it anymore. If you cook chicken, remove the skin and bake it in the oven in foil.

Instead of frying your fish you should always bake it. Steaming your vegetables can help maintain the most nutrients. You should use cream sauces or lots of butter anymore either. When you eat vegetables, try squeezing lemon juice on them or using your favorite seasonings.

As you make the proper changes to your diet, keep in mind that it takes time for them to become habits. Eating healthy is always great for your body and your lifestyle, especially when it comes to your heart and the prevention of heart disease.

 

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Superfoods that have your Heart in Mind

Heart disease is number one killer among both men and women in the United States. And though we all realize that eating nutrient-dense healthy foods help reduce the risk, we may not know which foods are the best choices to battle this deadly disease head on.

The key is stepping up fiber and choosing unsaturated fats. Eating unsaturated fats, like omega-3 fatty acids and olive oil, can help to reduce triglycerides. And a diet rich in soluble fiber, which is often found in legumes and some fruits and vegetables, helps to decrease LDL cholesterol levels.

heart

Sardines are an awesome source of omega-3 fatty acids, along with calcium and niacin. You can prepare fresh ones on the grill, or canned sardines work great in salads or sandwiches. Mackerel is another excellent source of omega-3s, and is full of selenium, which is an antioxidant mineral which may help protect the body from heart disease and cancer. A great way to get omega-3s on the go is by grabbing a handful of walnuts for an afternoon snack. Add some to your green salad, or give chicken salad a nutrition boost by adding ground walnuts.

Kidney beans are an affordable source of high fiber, are low fat, and have no cholesterol. Add them to salads and chili, as they truly are almost a perfect health food. Since canned varieties tend to be higher in sodium, try to use the dried varieties whenever possible.

Whole-grain barley is rich in soluble fiber and insoluble fiber, which is good for combating constipation. It’s also a good protein source and has a good supply of iron and minerals. Choose whole-grain barley cereals, or substitute whole-grain barley for rice and pasta side dishes once a week.

Oatmeal is a great way to boost your fiber content early in the morning, and it also has a low glycemic index, which helps to provide lasting energy stave off hunger. Choose rolled oats, and add some raisins, apples, and honey for flavor. Instant oatmeal isn’t a healthy option as it’s usually loaded with sugar.

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Color Your Way to Daily Health

It’s important that we eat plenty of different fruits and vegetables every day for good health. Diets rich in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

You’ve probably heard about the 5 A Day for Better Health program. It provides easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables into your daily eating patterns. It’s vital that we eat a wide variety of colorful orange/yellow, red, green, white, and blue/purple vegetables and fruit every day. By eating vegetables and fruit from each color group, you will benefit from the essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that each color group has to offer alone and in combination.

health

There’s several different yet simple ways to start incorporating vegetables and fruit into your familiar and favorite meals. You can begin your day with 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice, slice bananas or strawberries on top of your cereal, or have a salad with lunch and an apple for an afternoon snack. Include a vegetable with dinner and you already have about 5 cups of fruits and vegetables. You may even try adding a piece of fruit for a snack or an extra vegetable at dinner.

Don’t be afraid to try something new to increase your vegetable and fruit intake. There are so many choices when selecting fruits and vegetables. Kiwifruit, asparagus, and mango may become your new favorite. Keep things fresh and interesting by combining fruits and vegetables of different flavors and colors, like red grapes with pineapple chunks, or cucumbers and red peppers.

Get in the habit of keeping fruits and vegetables visible and easily accessible – you’ll tend to eat them more. Store cut and cleaned produce at eye-level in the refrigerator, or keep a big colorful bowl of fruit on the table.

 

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3 Ways You Can Boost Your Immune System And Stay

Would you like to boost your immune system so that you can stay healthy and well this year? Here are three basic steps you can take to ensure that your immune system is in tip-top shape.

Step One is to drink plenty of water. Your immune system requires lots of fresh, pure water to function properly. This is especially true if you are already sick, but drinking plenty of water can also help you stay well.

immune system

A general rule of thumb is to take your body weight and divide it by two. You should drink at least that many fluid ounces of water per day. For example, a 150 pound man should drink at least 75 fluid ounces of water per day.

Step Two is to take the right supplements. Glyco-nutrients and phyto-nutrients are both essential supplements to take to boost your immune system. Other supplements proven to help your immune function are certain vitamins, antioxidants, colostrum, etc. As with all nutritional supplements, you’ll want to ensure that you take top-quality ones, so they will do your body some good.

Just throwing a scoop of glyco-nutrient powder in your meals can go a long way to ensuring your immune system is functioning properly.

Step Three is to eat a basic healthy diet. Avoid sugars and refined foods, as they depress your immune system. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

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